Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6187
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:57 am

Malcolm wrote:So you apparently agree with my statement, "...in mahāmudra, śamatha and vipaśayāna unified from the beginning since it is simply a means of stabilizing one's knowledge of the nature of the mind pointed out by the guru."


No. There are two interpretations of the four yogas I know of, and the more popular one among Kagyupas seems to be the view that one-pointedness is interpreted as the common practice of calming and concentration, while it is during simplicity / non-elaboration that one gains insight into the nature of mind. Accordingly, calming and insight are practised in order to gain knowledge, and only following that can one cultivate their unified form (the third yoga of one taste) based on the realisation.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6187
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:14 am

Matt J wrote:You could take it in a number of ways, that is exactly the problem.


That seems to be the case with everything. :thinking:

We can have a group of people who all claim to practice Shikantaza, and say they are just sitting without grasping or rejection, but really, one person may be sinking into a dull, indeterminate state; one person may be cultivating mindfulness; another may be daydreaming and engaging in mental chatter.


So it is with any other inner cultivation. But that has no relevance to what the ideal is.

It is hard to say without practical and detailed guidance, which is largely missing in Soto Zen (at least as transmitted in the West).


Zazen can be described simply and clearly, like here. What more should be said?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21698
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:40 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:So you apparently agree with my statement, "...in mahāmudra, śamatha and vipaśayāna unified from the beginning since it is simply a means of stabilizing one's knowledge of the nature of the mind pointed out by the guru."


No. There are two interpretations of the four yogas I know of, and the more popular one among Kagyupas seems to be the view that one-pointedness is interpreted as the common practice of calming and concentration, while it is during simplicity / non-elaboration that one gains insight into the nature of mind. Accordingly, calming and insight are practised in order to gain knowledge, and only following that can one cultivate their unified form (the third yoga of one taste) based on the realisation.



The point is that uncommon śamatha and vipāśyāna is based on knowledge you have. Common śamatha and vipāśyāna is no different than sutrayāna practice. The former is based on direct introduction, and it is basically the same as the four samadhis of Dzogchen Sems sde: calmness (gnas pa), immovability (mi g.yo ba), nonduality (gnyis med) and natural perfection (lhun grub).

The first is called "śamatha," because one cultivates an experience of a state of calmness. The second is called "vipaśyāna," because one recognizes that movement and calmness are identical in nature. These leads to the experience of their nonduality, and finally, the experience of natural perfection.

But all four of these samadhis are based on having had an experience of the nature of the mind based on direction introduction. In reality, these samadhis are not practiced gradually but are four qualities of equipoise on the nature of the mind.

It is a very common belief among Dzogchen teachers that Gampopa borrowed the four samadhis and changed their names, since he had started out as a Dzogchen practitioner. Further, Dzogchen teachers very often teach the four yogas of Mahāmudra when they teach sems sde, for example, Adzom Drugpa, Tulku Orgyen and so on.

M
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6187
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:The point is that uncommon śamatha and vipāśyāna is based on knowledge you have. Common śamatha and vipāśyāna is no different than sutrayāna practice. The former is based on direct introduction, and it is basically the same as the four samadhis of Dzogchen Sems sde: calmness (gnas pa), immovability (mi g.yo ba), nonduality (gnyis med) and natural perfection (lhun grub).


And what I described was that one practises the common calming and insight followed by the uncommon, and this order can be set into the four yogas where the first two are common calming and insight, and the last two are the uncommon.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21698
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:13 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The point is that uncommon śamatha and vipāśyāna is based on knowledge you have. Common śamatha and vipāśyāna is no different than sutrayāna practice. The former is based on direct introduction, and it is basically the same as the four samadhis of Dzogchen Sems sde: calmness (gnas pa), immovability (mi g.yo ba), nonduality (gnyis med) and natural perfection (lhun grub).


And what I described was that one practises the common calming and insight followed by the uncommon, and this order can be set into the four yogas where the first two are common calming and insight, and the last two are the uncommon.


But it really doesn't work that way. No matter what books you might have read. Mahāmudra is nongradual.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

TaTa
Posts: 303
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:15 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby TaTa » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:So you apparently agree with my statement, "...in mahāmudra, śamatha and vipaśayāna unified from the beginning since it is simply a means of stabilizing one's knowledge of the nature of the mind pointed out by the guru."


No. There are two interpretations of the four yogas I know of, and the more popular one among Kagyupas seems to be the view that one-pointedness is interpreted as the common practice of calming and concentration, while it is during simplicity / non-elaboration that one gains insight into the nature of mind. Accordingly, calming and insight are practised in order to gain knowledge, and only following that can one cultivate their unified form (the third yoga of one taste) based on the realisation.



The point is that uncommon śamatha and vipāśyāna is based on knowledge you have. Common śamatha and vipāśyāna is no different than sutrayāna practice. The former is based on direct introduction, and it is basically the same as the four samadhis of Dzogchen Sems sde: calmness (gnas pa), immovability (mi g.yo ba), nonduality (gnyis med) and natural perfection (lhun grub).

The first is called "śamatha," because one cultivates an experience of a state of calmness. The second is called "vipaśyāna," because one recognizes that movement and calmness are identical in nature. These leads to the experience of their nonduality, and finally, the experience of natural perfection.

But all four of these samadhis are based on having had an experience of the nature of the mind based on direction introduction. In reality, these samadhis are not practiced gradually but are four qualities of equipoise on the nature of the mind.

It is a very common belief among Dzogchen teachers that Gampopa borrowed the four samadhis and changed their names, since he had started out as a Dzogchen practitioner. Further, Dzogchen teachers very often teach the four yogas of Mahāmudra when they teach sems sde, for example, Adzom Drugpa, Tulku Orgyen and so on.

M


I really dont want to turn this into another dzogchen/mahamudra thread but i really have this doubt.

So if one practices dzogchen semde the only difference between dzogchen and mahamudra approach is thogal? Or is there another difference.

Also, HYT empowerment would count for this approach to mahamudra, in the sense of the difference between sutra samatha and vipasyana and mahamudra samatha and vipasyana as you described? Or it has to bee direct introduction in the same fashion as for example Namkhai Norbu teaches?

Thanks

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21698
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:53 pm

TaTa wrote:
So if one practices dzogchen semde the only difference between dzogchen and mahamudra approach is thogal? Or is there another difference.

Also, HYT empowerment would count for this approach to mahamudra, in the sense of the difference between sutra samatha and vipasyana and mahamudra samatha and vipasyana as you described? Or it has to bee direct introduction in the same fashion as for example Namkhai Norbu teaches?



As for your first question. There are of course other differences, but the they are mainly technical, not practical. Dzogchen has a more extensive explanation of the basis, and differentiates between the basis (gzhi), and the mind that apprehends the basis (kun gzhi). In Mahāmudra this distinction is not made. However, the essential difference between Dzogchen and other systems is thögal. Otherwise, Mahāmudra, Lamdre, Trekchö and so on all have the same main point, equipoise in a moment of unfabricated consciousness aka tha mal gyi shes pa.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Meido » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:54 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Not to be impolitic but I did not understand what Zazen actually was supposed to be "doing" until being exposed to Mahamudra and Dzogchen instruction. There is a whole lot of exhortation to "just sit" out there and not enough guidance about how to do it, IME.

I'm not qualified to say how similar or different forms of meditation are, I just now that at some point reflecting on my Zen practice I had a lot of "oh, that's what that was for" type moments, whereas at the time it seems like there is not even a language in much of Western Zen for evaluating one's practice, maybe even it's that evaluation was shunned period.


Just as an aside here: shikantaza is just one practice used in zazen. There are many others. And Soto practice, including the common (and to my mind, commonly misused) exhortation to "just sit", is not the whole of Zen by a long shot.

There is a language and map in some Western Zen for evaluating one's practice (which in Rinzai Zen is not considered be genuinely "Zen" unless based upon the entrance gate of recognizing one's nature).

I've never practiced with a Soto teacher, so can't say much about shikantaza as taught in that tradition. Rinzai Zen doesn't use that term, and has instead the practices of hokkyo zanmai (jewel mirror samadhi) and sho hen ego zanmai (alternating samadhi of differentiation and sameness) - in other words, the fruition of unified samadhi-prajna, not different from Dogen's "oneness of practice and its confirmation". But again these are completely predicated on having first recognized one's nature through contact with the teacher, wato/koan, etc.

Because Soto Zen, or modern hybrid lineages like Sanbo Kyodan, are overwhelmingly the Zen majority in the West, it's often the case that Soto practice is just called "Zen", and shikantaza is just called "zazen". So wanted to remind that Zen is not one animal. In fact, I suspect that Rinzai Zen practice may, in some ways, have more in common with a few non-Zen traditions than with Soto practice as that tradition seems to be commonly understood in the West.

~ Meido
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one's True Nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly (according to this understanding), in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

http://www.korinji.org
http://www.rinzaizen.org
http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 6285
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:16 pm

Yeah, I should've been more specific that my experience was in Soto Zen, or at least Soto-derived Zen, which as you say, seems to be by far the most common influence. So don't worry, I don't think of Zen as one animal, it just seems like a lot of Western Zen has some shared characteristics.
May the eyes of living beings be gladdened by skies made splendid by clouds
that lightnings garland, while on earth below, the peacocks dance with joy as
showers of rain, falling gently, approach.

-The Door Of Happiness

Justmeagain
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Justmeagain » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:22 pm

Meido wrote:Just as an aside here: shikantaza is just one practice used in zazen. There are many others. And Soto practice, including the common (and to my mind, commonly misused) exhortation to "just sit", is not the whole of Zen by a long shot.


But (unless I am mistaken) Shikantaza is the only practice within the Soto school? If its not then isn't that a deviation from what Dogen (its founder) taught?

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6187
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:But it really doesn't work that way. No matter what books you might have read. Mahāmudra is nongradual.


It is non-gradual if you limit Mahamudra to the realisation of and familiarisation with the nature of mind. But if you consider the methods used to reach the realisation, then it can be gradual.

"When Gampopa taught sudden realizers he first taught the view and then, from within the view, proceeded into meditation. When he taught gradual realizers he first had them develop experience with meditation and then led them into the view. Among gradual realizers there are two subtypes: those whose mind is extremely wild and those whose mind is extremely unclear. To those with wild mind he taught vipashyana first. To those with extremely unclear mind he first taught shamata. The procedure in Moonlight of Mabamudra begins with shamata and proceeds to vipashyana."
(Thrangu: Essentials of Mahamudra, p 101-102)

"The Mahamudra system contains three approaches: sutra Mahamudra, tantra Mahamudra, and essence Mahamudra. According to sutra Mahamudra, one proceeds gradually through the five paths and ten bodhisattva stages, each practice followed by another. When one has reached a certain point, one continues step by step on to the next practice. One presents one's understanding and the master will check it. The whole procedure is very gradual and quite safe."
(Chokyi Nyima: Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, p 57)

"The Sutra Mahamudra approach is seen as a specialty of the Kagyu tradition and was the central emphasis of Gampopa's teachings. Therefore, although it originated in India and was also taught by Marpa and Milarepa, Gampopa is regarded as the main figure responsible for bringing this teaching to its full development and manifestation.
...
Essence Mahamudra is transmitted through a path more profound and more wondrous than the previous two because it leads to the sudden realization of the true nature of mind, which is called thamal8Ji shepa (tha mal8Ji shes pa), or ordinary mind. ... On this path, there is no need for either the elaborate methods of Mantra Mahamudra or the gradual training of Sutra Mahamudra. In Sutra Mahamudra, there are still some forms; for example, the practices of shamatha and vipashyana meditation, as well as the practices of bodhichitta, are retained."

(Dzogchen Ponlop: Wild Awakening p 33, 34-35)
Last edited by Astus on Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21698
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:16 pm

Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:But it really doesn't work that way. No matter what books you might have read. Mahāmudra is nongradual.


It is non-gradual if you limit Mahamudra to the realisation of and familiarisation with the nature of mind.


That's all Mahāmudra is.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6187
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Astus » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:That's all Mahāmudra is.


Fine. Then let me ask again: what do you call all the other things taught under the label of Mahamudra?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Meido » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:31 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Yeah, I should've been more specific that my experience was in Soto Zen, or at least Soto-derived Zen, which as you say, seems to be by far the most common influence. So don't worry, I don't think of Zen as one animal, it just seems like a lot of Western Zen has some shared characteristics.


Thanks, I didn't think it was a confusion you shared. Just nit-picking because I can't help myself!

Justmeagain wrote:But (unless I am mistaken) Shikantaza is the only practice within the Soto school? If its not then isn't that a deviation from what Dogen (its founder) taught?


Matylda has posted here in various threads RE Soto Zen in Japan and shikantaza, it's worth looking these up. Regardless of what one believes Dogen taught, the fact is that Zen is not a homogeneous "school" but rather a collection of related teaching lines. Even within groupings of those lines, like Soto or Rinzai, you will find a tremendous variety of practices depending on the predilections of lineage holders. This is not surprising, since to rigidly say that only one method is useful and others are deviations would be not only unrealistic, but also counter to Zen as an expression of the One Vehicle.

Will bow out here so as not to further distract from the main thread.

~ Meido
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one's True Nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly (according to this understanding), in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

http://www.korinji.org
http://www.rinzaizen.org
http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 6285
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Astus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:But it really doesn't work that way. No matter what books you might have read. Mahāmudra is nongradual.


It is non-gradual if you limit Mahamudra to the realisation of and familiarisation with the nature of mind.


That's all Mahāmudra is.



Seems like a tricky way of seeing it, realization of the nature of mind would always be non-gradual wouldn't it? Sustaining that realization on the other hand would have to be gradual for the vast majority of folks.
May the eyes of living beings be gladdened by skies made splendid by clouds
that lightnings garland, while on earth below, the peacocks dance with joy as
showers of rain, falling gently, approach.

-The Door Of Happiness

User avatar
conebeckham
Posts: 4127
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:04 am

While I appreciate Malcolm's position, and find a fair amount of pedagogical efficacy in it, the fact of the matter is that, in Kagyu traditions at least--those traditions who are most closely associated with "Mahamudra Lineages," --we call every technique that involves "mind" as the object of meditation "Mahamudra practice." For those who have not gotten a glimpse via effective and reciprocal Pointing Out, these gradual exercises fall into the "Path," even if they are not classified as true "Path Mahamudra," per se.

This is all rather pedagogical and polemical, I realize, but the bottom line here is that Mahamudra is a path which takes "direct looking" at "mind" as the basis of all techniques--even if the nature of that mind has not yet been pointed out or glimpsed.

It does occur to me, though, that the necessity of a Guru's instruction is essential to the Mahamudra path--I do not know if the same can be said for "Shikantaza." Certainly, for Dzogchen, we can say this...but I think the "referent" pointed out in Dzogchen is, maybe, potentially, a bit different.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Meido » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:39 am

conebeckham wrote:It does occur to me, though, that the necessity of a Guru's instruction is essential to the Mahamudra path--I do not know if the same can be said for "Shikantaza."


It can be said.

This post and the few that follow it may be useful:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=8330&hilit=matylda+shikantaza#p100326

~ Meido
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one's True Nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly (according to this understanding), in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - Torei

http://www.korinji.org
http://www.rinzaizen.org
http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 21698
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:49 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Astus wrote:
It is non-gradual if you limit Mahamudra to the realisation of and familiarisation with the nature of mind.


That's all Mahāmudra is.



Seems like a tricky way of seeing it, realization of the nature of mind would always be non-gradual wouldn't it? Sustaining that realization on the other hand would have to be gradual for the vast majority of folks.


No. Once you have seen the nature of the mind, that is all there is to do.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


So called “sentient beings” are merely delusions self-appearing from the dhātu of luminosity.

-- Ju Mipham

User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 765
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby anjali » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:45 am

There is a rather good article by Master Sheng Yen from the Chan tradition entitled, Shikantaza and Silent Illumination. It's worth fully reading for anyone who has not studied and received instruction in that tradition. It gives a clear description of how to practice shikantaza. There is much discussion of quiescence (non-thought) and clarity. SY concludes the article,

I was just asked whether the enlightenment that comes from Silent Illumination is sudden or gradual. Enlightenment is always instantaneous. It is the practice that is gradual. As I mentioned earlier, the third level of Silent Illumination is enlightenment. But how does one get there? As you practice, your attachments, discriminations, and wandering thoughts gradually subside. Eventually, you simply have no discriminations, but this change is instantaneous. When the change happens, you are in the state Hung-chi Cheng-chueh described as, “In silence, words are forgotten. In utter clarity, everything appears."

After you have some experience practicing, the sentiments and vexations you ordinarily experience may not arise during practice. It does not mean that they are gone. It just means that when you practice they do not arise. When you use Silent Illumination, this may happen, especially at the second level, but that is not enlightenment. Practice is not like trying to clear thoughts from your mind and vexations from your life as if they were dust on a mirror. You cannot wipe the dust away and make yourself enlightened. It is not like that. Whether you use the methods of the Lin-chi or Tsao-tung sects within the Ch’an tradition, once enlightened, you realize that enlightenment has nothing to do with the practice that brought you there.

So why bother to practice? Practice is like a bridge that can lead to enlightenment, even though enlightenment has nothing to do with practice.


One could reasonably ask whether the state of "In silence, words are forgotten. In utter clarity, everything appears," is in fact the state of Mahamudra.
All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

User avatar
Matt J
Posts: 552
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Postby Matt J » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:01 am

Why do you say that?

conebeckham wrote:Certainly, for Dzogchen, we can say this...but I think the "referent" pointed out in Dzogchen is, maybe, potentially, a bit different.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/


Return to “Mahamudra”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests